Tonight I went to check on my pumpkin plants (they are in my yard, not in the HPCG) and I noticed an old nemesis, the Mexican Mean Beetle. The Mexican Bean Beetle is a hard bodied orange beetle with black spots. Many people mistake these voracious pests for ladybugs – they are not.
Mexican Bean Beetles love to feast on bean crops and they enjoy the squash family as well. They can be difficult to spot as they live on the underside of leaves. But they leave very noticeable damage to crops – a lacy pattern in the leaves.
Unfortunately, these beetles can be quite difficult to control. Adults can be picked from plants by hand. Also, their orange, spiney grub larvae and oval orange eggs should also be destroyed when discovered (pinching, smushing or squishing all work!).
Organic controls include neem (derived from the neem tree), pyrethrins (derived from chrysanthemum plants) and sabadilla (made from sabadilla lily seeds).